Brand New 100yr Old Table

My niece just graduated college and it only took here a couple of weeks to secure her first teaching position. Of course that job is out of state and she starts at the end of July. Therefore she is in a mad dash to find her first apartment or house and get moved before then.

There is not much benefit to having me as an uncle unless you find yourself in need of furniture. Well, as long as you’re not too picky and are willing to have a piece or two of quirky furniture. So given the time frame, I volunteered to build her a table.

The table I designed as a sewing table for my wife should fit the bill. Not too big and breaks down for easy portability. Plus, staked furniture is super quick to build.

I jumped right in and milled up stock for the legs and stretchers. Then put the shave horse and spring pole lathe to work.

Once I had all of the legs turned, I made the tops for the trestles from SYP and installed the legs into them.

Next came the stretchers.

I then turned and threaded the handles that clap the top to the trestles.

The top is a simple slab of birch ply with minimal shaping to the edges.

I could have either oiled it and called it done or given it a simple coat of paint, but where is the fun in that? So another adventure in milk paint ensued.

First everything received a two coats of Bayberry Green.

Then a coat of Marigold Yellow.

Then some stenciling to add a bit of pizzazz .

After letting the last coat of paint dry for twenty four hours, I rubbed everything smooth with 0000 steel wool. The steel wool burnishes the surface and cuts through the yellow coat allowing some of the green undercoat to show through. With that out of the way, it was time to start adding oil and wax.

Milk paint is tricky. You never really know what the final color and effect will be until the finishing process is complete. Experience will give you a good idea, but lots of factors come into play that can subtly alter the final look of the piece.  There is actually much more green showing though than my camera will pick up, but here is the completed table.

My niece will take delivery of this table in the next few days and I really hope that she likes it. Hopefully she cherishes it and keeps it with her all through her life’s journey and passes it on to her children. That may be a bit of pressure to put on a simple quirky table, but time will tell.  At any rate, I think I came pretty close in creating a new table that looks like it has been around 100 years.

Greg Merritt

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Andon and Kumiko-the Journey Continues-2

The goal for this most recent andon lamp was to create a stand that would essentially turn it into a floor lamp. I went through several iterations on paper and finally concluded that my best option would be to create a stand from which the andon would be hung. A chance trip up into the “magic attic” served to further focus my efforts. Continue reading

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Andon and Kumiko-the Journey Continues

Management has informed me that the little andon would make good Christmas gifts for this year and that I should get busy making several. Fine with me. At least I have plenty of notice this time and the extra time means I can do a little further experimentation.

Since this will be somewhat of a production run, I took a hard look at how to economize the materials. I found that, by adjusting the size slightly, the width of a standard small Continue reading

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Ad Hoc Little Andon

Upon the completion of my first to andon projects I realized that I had enough bits and pieces left over to maybe, possibly build a smaller version. Plus, I have been bitten by the kumiko bug and wanted to try a couple of additional ideas on that front. So I jumped right in and milled up the remaining stock that I had for the outer frames and worked out the size of this andon based on that availability. Continue reading

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HB Andon (Shoji) Lamp

One thing that I am doing as I update old drawings is to review my sketch books for ideas that never made it off the page.  One such idea was for a Japanese style lamp (andon).  Originally, the andon was a lantern consisting of a washi (paper) covered wooden frame which was lite with either a candle or oil lamp. Continue reading

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Mini Three Drawer Chest

As I update old drawings, I will post those that I hope you will find useful.  Some may be new versions of those that you have seen before.  Others will be making a first time appearance here on the blog. Continue reading

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Japanese Bookbinding-Part 3-Work Board-Complete

At the end of my last post I had readied the field portion of the work board, replete with the required tongues for the breadboard ends.

Knowing that work on this project would be stretched over a week or so and given the crazy weather swings as of late, I wanted to get the clamp portion of the breadboard ends completed as quickly as possible. Even if not fully fitted, I could install the clamp boards onto the tongues at the end of each work session and mitigate any cupping of the field board between sessions. Continue reading

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